Tuesday to Friday 17th-20th January, 2012

Planning a transition to normality

Making the transition back to a more normal life.

Following the fantastic results of the scan on Monday, I needed to be planning a transition to a more normal life, with far fewer attention from the medical community and getting back to a normal work pattern.

Firstly, I decided that my approach to this blog will need to change. Finding something interesting to report each and every day was already proving to be challenging and the last thing I wanted to do is to bore readers away.

However, I am not yet cured of lymphoma and there will be many aspects of my fight against the disease that I would want to report. So I decided that the blog would continue, but not necessarily every day.

The consultation on Monday did NOT mean that I am cured of lymphoma. If I go for five years without any recurrence, then I would be able to consider myself cured. During that period, I could expect to be called in for tests and scans at regular intervals.

I was not necessarily even free of lymphoma. I still had a mass near my liver which could still be active. This was much smaller than when I was first diagnosed and dis not seem to be a cause for immediate concern.

I was certainly not free of symptoms. I still had a lot of damage to my right pelvis which will take time to improve, and, because of long-term morphine use, my digestive system was not working as regularly as it should.

On Tuesday I was contacted by a nurse from the hospital who advised me to take more laxatives, take less morphine and get more exercise to get my digestive system back to normal.

For three days last week, I dispensed with pain killers completely and discovered
(1) I was not walking as well .. meaning stress on other joints and muscles
(2) I was not sleeping well

So today, I have started to try a new regime, using paracetamol in the day and codeine at bedtime.

Finally, the treatment had left me rather weak. On Thursday I went into London on the train for a meeting. I was really tired when I got home. So, this meant that I would have to pace my return to normal working very carefully.

This week has been an amazing week. I am overwhelmed by the number of messages I have received from friends, acquaintances and work colleagues about my recovery.

On Wednesday evening, Sue and I went to our housegroup bible study meeting. We thanked God for my recovery and the housegroup leaders broke out a bottle of champagne for us all to celebrate.

On Thursday evening, Sue and I went to a short meeting to review the recent Bluefins New Year swimming competition. The club Vice-Chairman presented us with a bottle of champagne so that we could celebrate.

Reality set in on Wednesday. Sue and I would now be going to the USA on the 28th January for a combination of business and a holiday. I tried to get insurance that would cover any complications of lymphoma. The quotes were between £2000 and £3000 for a 2 week trip. So after careful consideration, we decided to accept the risk and I contacted my existing insurer and registered lymphoma as a pre-existing condition which would be excluded from the policy.

Finally, on Thursday, I booked Sue and I a cruise. We plan to take the first Northbound cruise from Vancouver to Alaska in May. That would be some compensation for the cruise we were forced to cancel last December.